(This post has been written for Free Write Friday using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just write! The writing prompt this week is: Let’s go on a little trip…to your first day of school!)
I saw this writing prompt and thought hmmmm, what is it that I am to write about? I mean, it isn't as if I remember my first day of kindergarten. I don't remember any of my kindergarten years nor the years to follow until I was older. So I thought I must then make something amazing up. Something that will thrill and wow the reader and make them wanting for more. But what could I make up about kindergarten that would do that unless it had something of the macabre attached to it, or something ridiculously crazy? So that option was out as well.
As I sat and thought about it, it was clear that the answer lied in my daughter. I remember her first day of school as if it were a sharp knife still imbedded in my heart, every memory bringing with the pain the movement of that sharp knife would bring. It was a horrible day... for me.
My daughter on the other hand felt like the world was just opening up and the excitement was so thick it was difficult to contain it and keep her from coming unglued altogether. She is a very social little thing and loves everyone she meets, so much so that we have had to work with her on this issue. It has been hard for her to understand why someone wouldn't want an hug, "they feel like the best thing in the world mommy, like God wrapping you up in His arms!" Teaching her to ask if she could hug someone and tell them she loved them is still an ongoing issue, though not so much with strangers anymore. But her excitement to be with others, love on them and be friend with all is still something that is deeply seeded in her. So the thought of going to school and meeting a bunch of other kids she didn't know did nothing but energize her.
For me though, trying to be excited with her was a difficult and daunting task. She was my baby, my 5 year old little girl and soon she was going to be gone all day long. We were rarely apart and now it was as if she was being ripped from my life and my heart was falling apart. As I took her to class I loved on her, told her to have a wonderful day and walked out of her room a changed woman. I was no longer there to protect her and I was no longer her everything and that was something to get used to.
As I walked to my car I remember clearly the feelings well up inside of me so strong that I knew that I would not be driving home for a while. The tears began to fall and the weeping then began. I felt as if I was all the sudden irrational because the thought kept washing over me that my poor baby girl has now embarked on a full time job! She is five and she is going to school at eight in the morning not getting home until almost four! How is that ok for such a little person? How would she survive? Where would her childhood go? For me it felt as if she was being ripped from the clutches of childhood and her family and being thrown to the wolves and the never-ending work cycle of the American society.
These feelings didn't just last that day, but for weeks. I tried my best to shove them down, especially when I knew she was having fun. But of course that fun didn't last long because of the bullying by one special boy. But that is a story for another time.
I remember sitting that first day wondering what her day was like, wondering if she was going to have any troubles, if the teacher would have to call me to come get her or if she would be scared for life by the time I went to pick her up. The opposite of course was true. As I picked her up at the end of her first day she was all a buzz as to her proceedings of the day. From the first thing to the last she gave me every bit of a detailed account she could remember. She was so excited for the new friends and her teacher. But what really melted my heart was how excited she was to see me. She told me she loved school but she wished it could be with me because she loves me so much. That moment was precious and I am so glad I was there to hear it.
My first day of kindergarten may not be memorable to me, but my daughters sure is, and that is all the matters. To be there for her and to remember hers is a true honor and I am blessed beyond my imaginings.
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